The Lab School of Washington

4759 Reservoir Road, NW 20007 Washington, DC
Phone: 202-965-6600
You Have Advantages. The Lab School Reveals Your Strengths.

List of 1 members.

  • Katherine Schantz 

    Head of School
    Kalamazoo College - B.A.
    Harvard University - Ed.M.

“Being at The Lab School is a feast for the neurons.”
— Guinevere Eden, PhD, director of the Center for Study of Learning, Georgetown University

Families, Friends, and Prospective Families,

A parent recently told me about changes in her son — and their whole family — after being at Lab. She was almost in tears, as was I, when she said, “Our son is a different child than he was when he came to this school three years ago. Much of that is because of his amazing teachers and advocates who have worked tirelessly to unlock the brilliance within this jewel of a boy.” I see these transformations daily here at Lab, and it’s gratifying to know that our program is helping so many kids who thought their learning differences were dooming and their parents who wondered if their kids would find any happiness or success in the world.

School Founder Sally Smith created an incredible and inspired school, the foundation of which is much the same. However, as the research on the brain expands and the world of technology continues to explode, we continue to reassess and reaffirm the inner workings of our core values so we can answer mothers like the one mentioned above who wonders “how we do what we do.”

In a nutshell, our core values include:
  • Student experience and hands-on learning as the primary driver
  • Arts-based learning as our formative pathway for students across all academic subjects
  • Positive psychology as the critical mindset
  • Technology as transformative tools to mastery
  • Expert teachers and specialists as the translators for students finding pathways for success.
Our students learn differently and that means that some skills like reading and spelling are harder to acquire. You may worry that this puts them at a disadvantage. I, on the other hand, believe that learning differently can be an advantage. My greatest joy is seeing each student’s advantages flourish into highly valued strengths with the help of Lab’s extraordinary education.

Katherine Schantz
Head of School

About Katherine Schantz

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    Education and Experience

    Katherine Schantz studied Education with a concentration in Counseling and Consulting Psychology at Harvard University, earning her Master’s degree and pursuing her doctoral studies. Her undergraduate degree in Economics is from Kalamazoo College in Michigan.
    From 2000-2009 Katherine was Head of School at Delaware Valley Friends School in Paoli, Pennsylvania. During her tenure, she co-authored with the school’s Board two strategic plans. She also introduced external and internal administration councils; managed a significant increase in school enrollment; refined and expanded the summer school program; enriched the fine arts department; guided renovation of the humanities wing; developed collaborations with Bryn Mawr College and People’s Light and Theatre; and cultivated significant contributions from major donors for both the annual fund and endowment.

    Katherine Schantz served as Associate Head of School (1999-2000) and Academic Dean (1992-1999) at The Kildonan School in Amenia, New York, where she developed the school’s first Middle School program and coordinated community service activities. She was also called as an expert witness, testifying on behalf of school funding.

    A teacher as well as an administrator, Katherine has taught psychology and language arts at the secondary school level. As a teaching fellow at Harvard she taught Developmental Neuropsychology; Children and Law; Psychological Assessment; Emotional Development; Human Motivation; Psychopathology; Psychotherapy; and Introduction to Psychology. She has also tutored high school students hospitalized for affective and eating disorders and has conducted educational assessments.

    Schantz currently belongs to a consortium of heads of independent schools across the country working to develop the most effective practices and environments for students with specific learning disabilities and ADHD. Her interest and expertise is in learning from neuroscience to develop effective educational practices for students with learning disabilities and ADHD, and fostering an arts-infused educational model as access to learning and identifying significant student talents. She has spoken at educational and mental health conferences on topics including neuropsychology, learning strategies, executive functioning and preparing students with learning disabilities for college.

    Relevant Research

    • “Three Levels of Learning on One Classroom” (2007): Brain is the Boss Symposium, Penn State University Great Valley Campus, Malvern, PA
    • “A Strengths’ Model for Executive Functioning” (2007): National Business Officers Seminar, Delaware Valley Friends School, Paoli, PA
    • “Preparing Students with Learning Differences for College” (2005): Weingarten Learning Differences Conference, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
    • "Strategies for Students with Learning Differences in the Public Schools" (1999): Dutchess County Mental Health Association, Poughkeepsie, NY
    • "Realistic Accommodations for Learning Differences in Traditional Schools" (1997): Small Boarding School Conference, Lynchburg, VA
    • "Dynamic Interpretation of Pairs Therapy" (1987): Harvard Summer Institute, Boston, MA
    • "Development of Close Relationships: Implications From Therapy With Two Early Adolescent Boys," R. Selman, B. Caplan, K. Schantz & L. Schultz, Packer & Addison (Eds.) Entering the Circle: Hermeneutic Investigation in Psychology (1989)
    Doctoral Research
    • Validity of Discrepancy Analysis for Identifying Learning Disabilities (1991-93): Harvard University
The Difference is Extraordinary
The Lab School of Washington
4759 Reservoir Road, NW | Washington, DC 20007-1921 | 202-965-6600